Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
A Filipino from Sharjah is extremely happy, not because he already received his one-time Php10,000.00 (Dhs730.00) COVID19-induced cash aid from Manila’s Department of Labour and Employment’s AKAP; but, the concern of officials from the Philippine Overseas Labour Office in Dubai (POLODXB) regarding his “unclaimed financial assistance.”
“I really forgot all about it. Lifted it to God and re-set my mind to come-what-may,” Wilson Orines told Gulf Today, in a mix of Filipino and English, on Monday.
An events company employee in Dubai, Orines has been on a “no work-no pay” status since March 18.
He learnt about the DoLE-AKAP (Abot Kamay sa Pagtulong) Programme in April and hesitatingly applied. His employer at that time, had not issued a memorandum on the no work-no pay policy, a required document for the financial assistance.
Orines was encouraged though when the advice of Labour Attache in Dubai and the Northern Emirates Felicitas Bay reached him: “Please tell him to write a letter. We accept handwritten letters as what beauty salon workers have been doing.”
He submitted all necessary documents alongside his handwritten letter, addressed to the labour attache, stating his no work-no pay status on April 18. On June 14, Orines was surprised to have received an email about the “unclaimed financial assistance.” It enquired if he still needed the Dhs730.00. His application had been approved on May 13, scheduled for release on May 21, and had been unclaimed. On Monday, Orines said: “ I already got my ayuda (help). I received a text message at 6 a.m. today from the Al Ansari Exchange.”
“What is touching is that the officers at POLODXB took the time and the effort to communicate with me,” he continued, adding that when he read the alert on Sunday evening, his younger sister, Winnie, asked him to check on his Spam mails.
There in the Spam was the POLODXB May 21 advisory, regarding the availability of the cash aid at the office. The DoLE-AKAP had been allocated a total budget of Php2.5 billion (Dhs182,409,609.50) for COVID19 displaced overseas Filipino workers in 29 countries including the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Canada, Cyprus, Italy, Germany, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and US.
According to Bay and Labour Attache in Abu Dhabi and Western Region Alejandro Padaen, budget allocations for the UAE, as per DoLE decision, was for 23,000 OFWs-17,000 in Dubai and the Northern Emirates and 6,000 in Abu Dhabi and the Western Region.
The two Philippine Overseas Labour Offices (POLOs) in the UAE have resumed the acceptance of new applicants for the one-time COVID19 pandemic-related cash aid to all displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) around the world.
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